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Women: Sold Down the River Give the President a Break

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Liberals Getting the Politics Wrong

by Christopher Chantrill
November 05, 2013 at 12:00 am


THE TROUBLES of Obamacare serves all those liberals right. But you can still feel for CNN’s kid now in medical school that voted with enthusiasm for Obama and now wonders what went wrong.

But if the kid still thinks that the Affordable Care Act is a “great... accomplishment” and that “partisan obstructionism has upended too many efforts to push our nation forward” then it is clear that his education has done nothing except amplify liberal talking points.

I thought that the whole point of a college education was to create “large-minded” people who could take their place as administrative experts in the great machine of liberal government.

I am not arguing that young liberals should get a conversion to conservatism in college. I am just arguing that, in the political interests of the liberal ruling class, its bright young sprigs should get a tour in political intelligence school and learn how the hated right-wing extremists actually think.

Charles Krauthammer, in conversation with Hugh Hewitt about his new book Things that Matter: Three Decades Of Passions, Pastimes And Politics, tells us why this is important. He reminds us what is at stake when we get the politics wrong.

[A]ll of [the] expressions of the highest in human nature, are dependent in the end on getting the politics right. Look at Germany, 1933, the most advanced of all cultures in Europe, and look what twelve years of getting the politics wrong did to its civilization, to its culture.

Agreed, Dr. Krauthammer. But it wasn’t the twelve years of Nazism that got the politics wrong. It was the previous fifty years leading up to 1933 that got the politics wrong. It was the evil genius of Bismarck that killed middle-class democracy in its cradle, the dolts that led Germany into a two-front war in 1914, the inflation and reparations and depression that beat the German people into desperation in the 1920s.

Where were the good people, the large-minded people, for the Germans then?

That’s our problem too, as the liberal ruling class staggers from the debacle of “affordable housing” and the real-estate bubble borne aloft on government-sponsored Fannie and Freddie to an economy that won’t recover to the lies of Obamacare and the health plan that you can’t keep.

As the woman teacher said on a train in Germany in the 1920s: How can this be happening to the most advanced country in the world? A lot of liberals are going to be saying that to themselves in the next few years as reality breaks through the soothing tones of NPR.

The current liberal line is that things were hunky-dory back in the 1950s when unions were strong and tax rates on the rich were high, but now, with all the tax cuts for the rich, inequality is rising and we need more government power to fight it. OK, here is federal income tax as percent of GDP from usgovernmentrevenue.com.

Looks to me as if the federal individual income tax has been trending higher, except for the chaos of the 2000s and its two big crashes.

And all along, liberals have been getting the politics wrong.

Liberals, you had your heads handed to you in 1980 because your Keynesian economics and your retreat in the Cold War and your Great Society programs and your embrace of the new racism of quotas and timetables had failed. You failed so dramatically that all the king’s media horses and all the king’s Hollywood men couldn’t get failed President Carter together again.

Conservatives showed liberals how to get the politics right. Liberals needed to stop thinking they could fine-tune the economy with macroeconomic Keynesianism and its cheap money and “stimulus.” That was the message of George Gilder’s Wealth and Poverty: Keysnesianism screwed up the economy. And liberals had to reverse course on their Great Society social programs. That was the message of Charles Murray’s Losing Ground: Government social programs helped people materially, but they devastated them in every other way.

For a while liberals held their breath and elected Bill Clinton as a New Democrat that had learned the lessons of the Reagan years. But good ole Bill went straight for Hillarycare and needed the first all-Republican Congress in forty years to clip his liberal wings.

Came the 2000s and liberals reverted to type, electing Obama and doing Hillarycare Part Deux as though all the getting the politics wrong in the 1960s and 1970s had never happened.

Say all you like about President Bush, but on a late summer morning in 2001 he had the gumption to tell the American people “I can hear you.”

The trouble with liberals is that either they can’t hear or they won’t listen.

You can’t get politics right if you won’t listen.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican

US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050

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David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008

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Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values

Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.

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F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit

Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District


A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy

Physics, Religion, and Psychology

Paul Dirac: “When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion. However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.”
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presented by Christopher Chantrill

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